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November 30, 2011
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I wrote this yesterday to a young artist who was worried about measuring up at the Whitechapel art forums, and it sounded like I kind of knew what I was talking about, so I thought I'd share it here:

"Overall, it goes back to one of Warren's old mainstays for here; "There is no crying in Whitechapel", which means just bring your best stuff, be honest and committed to it, and don't whine.

All of us have felt "outclassed" by something here, and complaining about it gets boring, so better to put your energy into getting your game up to the level you wish it to be. It took me a few years to really hit a level I felt I could even feel good about here with the possibility of someone like Mike Weiringo showing up and owning the entire thread.

The "No piss-takes" rule is also in the same vein; we're all here to see good stuff, so bringing something that is obviously half-assed or was slapped together with little thought is a piss-take, and it wastes both our (the viewers) and your time. Again, better your time is spent on a good piece of art or getting better for your next entry. I literally used this place as boot camp, knowing that I could do comics and art, but needing a drill instructor to say "Okay, now 20 more, soldier!"

Looking back, some of my first REMAKE pieces were utter crap. But I kept coming back, kept getting schooled by some really good artists, and eventually I started making stuff that I knew was my best work (not the best in the thread, but best for me) and it was a great kick in the ass. I had been deafened by the echo chamber that some online art communities can become (OH, YOU'RE AWESOME LOL) and now had to deal with the open, stony silence that can be a forum like this, where people of incredible taste actually have an informed opinion, and give praise when deserved. Sure, there is good natured barbing and hassle, but the end goal was the same: show me something that excites my eyes and brain. Warren demanded it, I know Si demands it, and it's something we should all demand of ourselves, be it here in the REMAKE thread, or a photo thread, a story thread, fiction thread, wherever. This place keeps me coming back because I feel I have to bring my good game, art and brain-wise, and keeps me sharp and frosty and constantly challenging myself.

I don't know that I'll "hit" every time (and I'll save you the suspense; I will fuck up PLENTY), but I will keep getting better, because it feels really good to keep getting better, and I love seeing people here evolve into amazing artists, storytellers or whatever. This board loves new blood, so put on some big person pants and join in the drill. You obviously are interested, so give yourself some time to find your footing and really show what your best work is. You'll (and we'll) know when it happens.

Whatever age it happens, learning the reason you do art (or any creative thing) is paramount. If it's for money, for fame, for revenge, all good, but it needs to be your reason and make sense to you. I've found only dead ends when I've attempted to manufacture reasons to continue to improve as an artist. Simple baseline is; you've just got to want it, and be willing to find ways to keep wanting it. But you've also got to be willing to risk it a bit, to put it out there and let it be exposed to the elements and be strengthened by that exposure. THAT is one of the harder things a young artist has to learn; self confidence, and where to keep finding it. Self confidence doesn't come from unending praise, it comes from earned praise."

...and scene.
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: Russian web radio
  • Reading: lots of blogs
  • Watching: Mad Men
  • Playing: nothing! I'm making art!
  • Eating: Thai peanut ice cream
  • Drinking: Water Water Water!
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:iconpalandrose:
Palandrose Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
good sir, may i have a link to said site? not many people on here give a good slap to the face with constructive crit... which is what i desire. if ever i am to reach my goal of pointing at a best selling video game and saying "i made the concept art that soldier/tank/landscape/ main character is based on" i need some people to tear my work down so i can rebuild it for the better.

and thanks for reminding me why i draw in the first place by the way!!!
Reply
:iconpaulsizer:
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the good words. WHITECHAPEL is a member only site, but you can sign up pretty quickly. It's very heavily moderated, and sometimes a bit (or a LOT) NSFW, but if you're a grown up with a weird sense of humor, you'll be fine.

[link]
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:iconfrederickofolympus:
frederickofolympus Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012
I agree. Many times we will encounter flak or negative things in our way. It's those who persist and persevere that end up standing. Like you said, you gotta want it more than the next guy or the newest artist out there. Use the art that inspires you and channel it to improve yours and ultimately find your technique, niche and purpose as an artist.
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:iconpaulsizer:
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Well said, thanks!
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:iconfrederickofolympus:
frederickofolympus Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012
No problem. :) We fellow artists just have to keep on supporting each other, right?
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:iconrevolegnever:
RevoLeGnever Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you for telling what it's like. I know that I, myself, have felt like my stuff is crap compared to a lot of other artists. Even though I felt this way, I learned from what they're strengths in their pieces were and try my best to do better. As long as I'm satisfied with the way my work is, and I feel that it is strong, I'm happy.

Plus, I've been known to e-mail my stuff to those artists or make prints for my colleagues, family, friends, classmates, and even random people to critque.

Even if we're scared of people's responses, it's a good idea to ask other people what they think of your work, not just shut yourselve down instantly and give up. You'll never get anywhere with that approach.
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:iconpaulsizer:
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yup; getting negative criticism is hard, but as long as it's constructive, it's an opportunity to move forward. You always have the opportunity to choose what input you feel has your best interests in mind, but any artist is better served by getting a thicker skin and learning to grow from criticism. Thanks for the good words.
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:iconrevolegnever:
RevoLeGnever Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
No problem, you too :)
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:iconbrokenhill:
BROKENHILL Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011   Artisan Crafter
well typed.good advice for all jobs really, that's what gotten lost in today's work ethics.
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:iconpaulsizer:
PaulSizer Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
As I wrote this, I did think that this applies across many disciplines.
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